Skip to content

Richard Dent on Hall of Fame vote: I didn’t know what the hang-up was

richarddent

Richard Dent, the former Bears defensive end who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, says he’s glad to be in the Hall now, but he doesn’t know why he had to wait so long.

“I didn’t understand the process. I was patient; didn’t care to call anybody out,” Dent said today at a ceremony in his honor at Halas Hall. “I didn’t really know what the hang-up was. I felt I was one of the guys who made a change in the game in pass rushing and taking the ball from the quarterback.”

With all due respect to Dent, the hang-up was that a lot of voters didn’t think he belonged in the Hall of Fame. And those voters had a very good case for keeping him out.

Dent retired after the 1997 season, meaning he was eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2003. That year, he wasn’t even one of the 15 finalists. He wasn’t one of the finalists in 2006, either. And in the six years that he was a finalist but wasn’t selected, you’d have an awfully hard time saying that he was the most deserving of the candidates who didn’t get in, in any of those years.

Jason Whitlock made some great points on today’s PFT Live, comparing the Hall of Fame merits of Dent and Willie Roaf, whom the selection committee voted down this year. Roaf was twice selected to the NFL’s all-decade team, for both the 1990s and the 2000s. Dent was never selected to the all-decade team. The all-decade teams are chosen by the Hall of Fame selection committee, so some of the same voters who twice declared Roaf one of the best offensive tackles of the decade passed him over in favor of Dent, whom they never declared one of the best defensive ends of the decade.

Another data point: Dent made the Pro Bowl four times. Roaf made the Pro Bowl 11 times.

As Whitlock noted, both on PFT Live and in a column at FOXSports.com, the selection of Dent now feels like a matter of voters just deciding that the Hall of Fame ought to have another guy from those great Bears defenses of the 1980s, rather than actually considering Dent’s candidacy compared to the other players on the ballot this year, especially Roaf.

I also agree with both Whitlock and Florio that the Hall of Fame selection process should have more transparency. As I mentioned yesterday regarding the long conversation that the selection committee had about Deion Sanders, if a player’s candidacy is worthy of a long conversation, the public ought to hear what that conversation entailed.

And more openness about the process would also provide more fairness to candidates who are passed over — like Roaf this year, or like Dent for the last eight years. Even though I don’t agree with the decision to put Dent in the Hall of Fame over Roaf, I’m with Dent when he says he doesn’t understand the process. It’s a process that could be improved with more transparency.

Permalink 34 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Chicago Bears, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
34 Responses to “Richard Dent on Hall of Fame vote: I didn’t know what the hang-up was”
  1. jaggedmark says: Feb 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    We’re not going to get transparency, because Peter King and others like Peter King would have their biases exposed, and would have to explain them to the rest of us.

  2. efangule says: Feb 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    The Hall of Fame selection committee sucks.

    How can 44 people who have never set one foot on the gridiron know who is the best player?

    This is the biggest farce in the NFL.

  3. 504in860 says: Feb 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    I’m not a fan of any teams he was on, but what’s the deal with Charles Haley? I know he had his issues with the media, but come on! The man was a BEAST…and should’ve been in the hall a while ago.

  4. jaggedmark says: Feb 9, 2011 6:46 PM

    I’ve watched as many years and as many NFL games as Peter. And he’s telling me that Shane Lechler is a better punter than Ray Guy was?

    Ray Guy, whom:

    Had his football checked by another team for Helium, because they thought he was cheating.

    NFL started keeping track of “hang time” because of.

    Never had a punt returned for a TD on him, in his entire career!

    And Peter King has an NFL HOF vote? What a F##king Joke!

  5. taxlaw26 says: Feb 9, 2011 6:48 PM

    Maybe the hang up was your crappy attitude and sense of entitlement.

  6. jaggedmark says: Feb 9, 2011 7:00 PM

    I know Peter King is a buddy of PFT, but this HOF process is a joke. If the voters have actually watched NFL games religiously for 30-40 plus years, throw the stupid stat crap in the trash, and vote based on what you saw!

    20 yrs from now, a new HOF vote (in the mold of Peter King) will say D’Angelo Hall was a better CB than Darelle Revis, because he had more interceptions. It’s stupid!

  7. daCoach says: Feb 9, 2011 7:02 PM

    If Rickey Jackson is in the Hall then Dent should be as well!

  8. Darth Goodell says: Feb 9, 2011 7:06 PM

    I agree with the comments about lack of transparency and sportswriters controlling the selection process. Too often the selection process is influenced by a player’s level of cooperation with the media rather than their on-field accomplishments.

    I also don’t understand the tradition of not putting too many players or guys who played the same position in the HoF each year. If five WRs are all deserving in a particular class, why not induct them all?

  9. sepnasty says: Feb 9, 2011 7:10 PM

    jaggedmark says: Feb 9, 2011 6:41 PM

    We’re not going to get transparency, because Peter King and others like Peter King would have their biases exposed, and would have to explain them to the rest of us.
    ———————-
    I understood otherwise after reading his recent article. Or, maybe you do know it all…?

    Per King:
    I’m in favor of total transparency with the voting. In other words, I’d be fine with our votes being made public, which the Hall currently doesn’t want us to do. The feeling from Hall officials is if our votes are published, then some voters might vote differently; if a voter from Buffalo, for instance, didn’t vote for Andre Reed (and this is only an example, not the truth), he might face a backlash when he goes back to cover his team. Or in some small way it might affect his vote if he or she knew everyone would know exactly how the vote went. I believe it’s incumbent on us to not hide behind the privacy of the room. The Hall is a huge deal, obviously, with burgeoning interest every year. If we’re going to sit on the committee and sit in judgment of these men for enshrinement, I think you ought to know how we vote.

  10. heyooooh says: Feb 9, 2011 7:10 PM

    504in860 says:
    Feb 9, 2011 6:41 PM
    I’m not a fan of any teams he was on, but what’s the deal with Charles Haley? I know he had his issues with the media, but come on! The man was a BEAST…and should’ve been in the hall a while ago.
    ———————————————————————————
    I hear you, but you should check out that link PFT posted last week that talked about Haley’s time on the 49ers & his behavior in the locker room. That is one of the wildest stories I ever read about an athlete. If you read that article, you might wonder if he’s worthy of the Hall, but also whether this is a guy that should be walking around in public.

    Seriously, that was one messed up story. I have no idea if it is true, but it was entertaining.

  11. 504in860 says: Feb 9, 2011 7:10 PM

    daCoach says:
    Feb 9, 2011 7:02 PM
    If Rickey Jackson is in the Hall then Dent should be as well!
    ————————————————-

    Rickey Jackson deserves it. More like if Andre Tippett is there Dent should be.

  12. rolltide510 says: Feb 9, 2011 7:11 PM

    They should make HOF voting the way they do Heisman voting, where former winners get to vote along with the know-nothing dopes in the media. Charles Haley, Ken Stabler, Chris Carter, etc — all denied at the whims of journalists who weren’t given enough interviews.

  13. baseballstars says: Feb 9, 2011 7:12 PM

    Both Ray Guy and Cris Carter deserved it more.

  14. pooflingingmonkey says: Feb 9, 2011 7:14 PM

    Ask Brian Holloway (Pats OT in SB XX) how good he was.

    Dent ate him alive in the ultimate game.

  15. blackfootkiller says: Feb 9, 2011 7:15 PM

    This voting is more confusing every year…While Dent makes it in…An 8 time pro bowler, 90′s all decade team, defensive player of the year in 92′ type guy like Cortez Kennedy is passed over?
    Hall of Fame has become just another NFL fashion show at this point.

  16. thesixthcity says: Feb 9, 2011 7:16 PM

    Hey Dent before you start having diarrhea of the mouf how bout you ask these guys about being smited by the H.O.F. Chris Doleman, LC Greenwood, Charles Haley, Mark Gastineau, Neil Smith, Cortez Kennedy. And as for you Mr Dent you may just be at the bottom of this list.

  17. hooterdawg says: Feb 9, 2011 7:17 PM

    The purpose of this anti-Dent column is that Dent didn’t appear on PFT Live but pro-Roaf Whitlock did. Way to plug the opinions of the PFT guests.

  18. tdbragg says: Feb 9, 2011 7:25 PM

    The voters put Dent in , but leave out Dermontti Dawson . Makes absolutely no sense .

  19. dtriebel says: Feb 9, 2011 7:31 PM

    Richard Dent finished his career 3rd all time in sacks behind only Bruce Smith and Reggie White that alone qualifes him. He is still 6th all time.

    Totally agree Willie Roaf should be a first ballot hall of famer.

  20. seeyouinhelljohnny says: Feb 9, 2011 7:40 PM

    Dent is one of the greatest defensive ends of all time. That is why he got in. People who don’t realize that weren’t watching the game back then. He was a terror, not just a one trick pony. He did more than just rush the passer. He’s right when he said he should have gotten in sooner.

    And since when are pro bowls the gauge of the Hall of Fame? The pro bowl selection process is the biggest farce of them all.

    Doleman will get in. Haley and Kennedy will probably get in. Dent had waited long enough. He earned it.

  21. jaggedmark says: Feb 9, 2011 7:50 PM

    We’re not going to get transparency, because Peter King and others like Peter King would have their biases exposed, and would have to explain them to the rest of us.
    ———————-
    I understood otherwise after reading his recent article. Or, maybe you do know it all…?

    Per King:
    I’m in favor of total transparency with the voting. In other words, I’d be fine with our votes being made public, which the Hall currently doesn’t want us to do. The feeling from Hall officials is if our votes are published, then some voters might vote differently; if a voter from Buffalo, for instance, didn’t vote for Andre Reed (and this is only an example, not the truth), he might face a backlash when he goes back to cover his team. Or in some small way it might affect his vote if he or she knew everyone would know exactly how the vote went. I believe it’s incumbent on us to not hide behind the privacy of the room. The Hall is a huge deal, obviously, with burgeoning interest every year. If we’re going to sit on the committee and sit in judgment of these men for enshrinement, I think you ought to know how we vote.
    ———————————
    I didn’t say it’s Peter King that’s keeping it from being transparent. I said, it won’t happen because that would expose biases (like Peter King’s). And if anyone thinks Peter King doesn’t have biases, they don’t listen to him on enough platforms.

  22. randolph32 says: Feb 9, 2011 7:51 PM

    I’d imagine a number of readers here didn’t see Dent play…he was the proto-type for the 3/4 defense…he often moved off the line playing pass defense, I believe he had 7 or 8 INT’s. If Buddy Ryan hadn’t had him running all over he’d have even more Sacks.

    The sad fact is there are more folks who are deserving and will probably never make it than spaces allowed by the HOF, a shame really.

    I personally hate the Cubs, but the same with Ron Santo, this poor guy should have been in 15 years ago, and now they’ll put him in after he dies….

  23. sageyoung says: Feb 9, 2011 7:53 PM

    The problem with the HOF is that they limit the numbers. Guys like Dent are put in because they know they can put the younger guys in later and don’t want to leave him out. Either a guy is qualified for the HOF, or he isn’t. There shouldn’t be a limit on the number.

  24. bigbeefyd says: Feb 9, 2011 8:08 PM

    HOF voting is rules by Peter “The Great (in his own mind)” King…the others are just his minions. Compare Gradishar and Carson…Carson went to 9 Pro Bowls, Gradishar to 7. Gradishar – NFL Defensive POY in 1978…Carson never. Gradishar 24 defensive TDs, Carson one. Both had exceptional careers. One is in…because he was Peter King’s pick. The other (Gradishar) probably gave more to the game, and certainly meant more to his team. This system is broken. The ONLY people that should be voting should be living HOF members. They are the only ones that understand. I would say that if Peter King and others of his ilk want to keep voting, they shold have to return one punt in a game first. If they have the cojones to do that, then maybe they get a seat at the table.

  25. 7pints says: Feb 9, 2011 8:14 PM

    There’s no denying the whole selection process is flawed. Just ask Randy Gradishar.

  26. slippyal2 says: Feb 9, 2011 9:00 PM

    Cris Carter got to pat his stats with Randy Moss and Jake Reed across from him. Tim Brown and Andre Reed didn’t have such great luck and were double teamed a lot more consistently than Carter was.

  27. ruffbufffire says: Feb 9, 2011 9:28 PM

    Andre Reed isnt getting his due respect because Buffalo lost all those bowls and play in a small media market……In the 90′s only Rice was better!!!!!Carter caught TD’s …great….Tim Brown was solid but Dre Reed brought excitment!!!!! Two yard slants taken to the house numerous times….The Bills ran way more than they threw or Dre’s stats would be better. Rod Woodson a HOF DB says Reed was second behind Rice, he should know. Google all the WR’s highlights and you will see Reed was better!!!!! and he did it in snowstorms!!!!!

  28. hooterdawg says: Feb 9, 2011 9:41 PM

    Peter King has so many biases that his SI.com soap box does not allow public comment in response to His Highness Blowhardness. SI.com treats comments as if the internet doesn’t even exist: you still have to send in email ( like Letters to the Editor in the print version of SI) so that King can choose what topics he wants to respond to. It is ironic that he has a strong bias against allowing too many ppl into the HOF because it would water down the quality ( the backlog allows only the GREAT to enter), yet the 44 HOF voters are the same, staid country club whose qualifications are never allowed to be questioned.

  29. Steelerbear78 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:18 PM

    So we’re supposed to believe that Andre Tippett deserved to be in the hall of fame ahead of Richard Dent? With more than 37 and a half fewer career sacks than Dent? Never mind that Dent leads him and most other recent defensive player in recent history voted to the hall of fame?

    MDS, this article is a jest. I’m not going to say that Tippett isn’t worthy of being a hal of famer. The fact is he was a great player. Every single player in the hall deserves to be there. Why he was voted in ahead of Dent is another story. The Patriots were heading to the super bowl as an undefeated team so the hall voters thought it’d be a popular decision to put him in at that time.

    You saying the voters didn’t think he belonged is such crap. The hall of fame went from a way to honor the games all time greats to a popularity contest. Everything from the number of hall of famers inducted per year to the people whom vote them in.

    It’s a shame that anyone tries to break down the more “deserving” players than actually honor this man and his accomplishments. Where was this breakdown when Tippett was voted in ahead of Dent?

    This article is garbage. Dent deserved to be in the hall of fame long before this year. Making suppositions as to what the “hang up” was is stupid. What’s the next step? Denouncing a hall of famer?

    So stupid!

  30. jarrman46 says: Feb 9, 2011 10:30 PM

    everyone is talking about Charles Haley and Richard Dent in the HOF. How about Kevin Greene (3rd most sacks in NFL history at 160)
    Dent finished with 137.5 sacks. They both played 15 seasons in the NFL. Charles Haley didnt even finish top 20 in career sacks.

  31. 504in860 says: Feb 9, 2011 11:09 PM

    jarrman46 says:
    Feb 9, 2011 10:30 PM
    everyone is talking about Charles Haley and Richard Dent in the HOF. How about Kevin Greene (3rd most sacks in NFL history at 160)
    Dent finished with 137.5 sacks. They both played 15 seasons in the NFL. Charles Haley didnt even finish top 20 in career sacks.
    ———————————————–

    Greene deserves to be in as well.

  32. sufferingbirdsfan says: Feb 10, 2011 6:47 AM

    If I were Dent I would keep my mouth shut and be glad I slipped by. He was a very good player but even the most hardcore Bear’s fan has to admit that there are MANY more qualified guys that should have been in before him. That’s just reality.

  33. otistaylor89 says: Feb 10, 2011 8:04 AM

    “Great Bears teams of the ’80′s”…

    They won ONE year!! They went to the Super Bowl ONE time!!

    Great Bears teams of the ’80′s…..

    Child Please….

  34. salmen76 says: Feb 10, 2011 8:49 AM

    As an NFL fan i don’t care about none of the NFL award programs. The MVP awards and offensive and defensive player of the week awards, probowl selection all decade teams selections are all junk to me. There are so many of them now i’ve never even heard of them all. They mean nothing. They are way too subjective and pretty much just a popularity contest. And when players aren’t selected when they think they should be they whine like little babies. All i care about is my team winning the Super Bowl. Geaux Saints!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!